Despite 8 in 10 Hispanic consumers saying they believe they should own life insurance, only half actually have coverage, according to the 2021 Insurance Barometer Study.
This market represents a growing opportunity for the life insurance industry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the Hispanic population has grown 23% over the past decade to 62.1 million, now accounting for 1 in 5 people in the U.S.
While the Hispanic community is very diverse, comprising of heritages from across Latin America, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, they share common cultural values, especially around the importance of family. These values are reflected in their financial priorities and concerns.
In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, LIMRA is sharing 15 facts about Hispanic consumers and life insurance.
- In 2021, just over half of Hispanic adults (51%) reported owning life insurance, down from 54% in points down from 2020.
- Hispanic consumers are most likely to recognize the value of life insurance — 78% of Hispanics say they need life insurance, compared with just 70% of the general population.
- A third of Hispanics (33%) feel they don’t have enough coverage and 41% wish their spouse had more coverage. Four in 10 Hispanics say they wished they purchased their life insurance coverage at an earlier age.
- Nearly half (47%) of Hispanic consumers say they need (or need more) life insurance coverage, which is higher than any other race or ethnicity.
- Forty-four percent of Hispanic households would face financial hardship within six months should a wage earner die unexpectedly; 20% say they would suffer financially within a month.
- Protecting their families is very important to Hispanics. Hispanic consumers are more likely than other market segments to worry about leaving their dependents in a difficult financial situation should they die prematurely and fear burdening others with their burial/funeral expenses.
- While Hispanics are as likely as the general population to say a major reason they have life insurance is to cover burial and other final expenses (46%), they are much more likely than other market segments to view life insurance as a way to help replace lost wages/income of wage earner (47% versus 35%), pay off their mortgages (43% versus 31%), and supplement their retirement income (35% versus 29%).
- Forty-five percent of uninsured Hispanics say they are likely to purchase coverage within the next 12 months.
- Hispanics — more than any other race or ethnicity — would prefer to work with a financial professional to purchase coverage (37% versus 33% for the general population).
- More than half of Hispanics (53%) say they are more likely to purchase life insurance using simplified underwriting, which is higher than any other ethnic group or race. They are attracted to its convenience (fast and easy, avoids a medical exam or the need to see a doctor).
Impact of COVID-19 on the Hispanic Community
COVID-19 had a greater impact on the Hispanic community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Hispanic people were almost twice as likely as non-Hispanics to get infected with COVID-19, and more than twice as likely to die.
It is not surprising to learn that the pandemic influenced Hispanic consumers’ perceptions about life insurance:
- Four in 10 Hispanics (37%) say they are more likely to purchase life insurance due to the pandemic, higher than the 31% of the general population.
- COVID-19 prompted 14% of Hispanics to purchase life insurance for the first time in 2020.
- Of the 10% of Hispanics that lost their life insurance coverage in 2020, 29% said it was due to an unplanned job loss; 28% said it was because they could no longer afford it; and 31% said they had other financial priorities.
Misconceptions Impede Ownership
It is clear that Hispanic consumers view their life insurance coverage as a way to protect their loved ones’ financial future. Similar to other market segments, however, Hispanic consumers’ misconceptions about life insurance often deters them from getting the coverage they know they need.
- The No. 1 reason Hispanic consumers give for not purchasing life insurance is it is too expensive. Yet, 82% of Hispanics overestimate the cost of coverage.
- A third of Hispanic consumers (31%) do not feel knowledgeable about life insurance. More than a quarter of Hispanic consumers (26%) say they haven’t purchased coverage because they don’t know what to buy or how much they need.
Life insurance is the foundation of any sound financial plan — supporting financial goals, like education, home ownership and generational wealth transfer, as well as protecting families from the unexpected. As an industry, one way to help address the racial wealth gap that exist in the Hispanic community is by engaging and educating Hispanic consumers about the importance of life insurance and helping them get the life insurance protection they need to ensure their families’ financial security.